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    letters | lynch in showdown over pipeline

    Time is now for litmus tests on climate change

    It is possible that Tom Steyer’s letter to US Representative and senatorial candidate Stephen Lynch is not an effective means to combat the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but in claiming that the tar sands pipeline should not be reduced to a litmus test, it is the Globe that ignores the stakes in what it terms “a serious issue deserving serious debate” (“Markey’s billionaire backer should back off,” Editorial, March 20).

    We have had enough serious discussion of the threat of climate change and the threat represented by developing vast stores of unconventional oil. The problem is not lack of serious discussion, but a failure by the media and by our political leaders to take this threat seriously.

    We have just experienced 336 months in a row of global average temperatures above the 20th-century norm, but the media and political leaders treat this information as if it were a state secret. Given the rapid destabilization or our climate, we need litmus tests now: There should be no support for any politician who fails to recognize that humans are destabilizing the climate, and there should be a pledge to pressure any politician who fails to take action.

    Ben Lieberman